With Kristen Clark:
What motivates you to write? I absolutely love the writing process. Writing is cathartic, creative, and expressive. I love to write about deeply rooted passions and life-changing experiences. I also love to use writing as a way to celebrate nature and compliment my skills in photography.
What books did you love growing up? I loved Nancy Drew mystery books and couldn’t wait for the summer months when I could spend my vacation reading. To this day, I still love mysteries – film and print.
Who is your favorite author? My favorite author is Joyce Meyer. Her inspirational books are encouraging and life-changing. They also get to the heart of the matter and remind me – once I know, I can’t not know. I aspire to write transformational books like hers.
How did you develop your writing? Writing is an art form that requires constant development. As a result, I make it a priority to write daily, attend writing conferences each year, and take writing courses and workshops whenever possible. I also make it a priority to read daily; I believe the best writers are also avid readers. But the journey began when I sat down to write my first short story, nearly ten years ago.
What is hardest – getting published, writing, or marketing? For most writers, the hardest part is marketing. That’s simply because most writers struggle with self-promotion and don’t invest in learning the marketing-side of the business. I find marketing the easiest because my professional background includes sales, strategy and planning, and marketing. So, for me, the hardest part is the writing.
What marketing works for you? I manage most of my own marketing and have the greatest success using social media, video, and article marketing to drive traffic to my website, build web-page stickiness, and convert browsers to buyers. Also, I have learned the value of strong copywriting in all of my marketing efforts. Strong copy-writing and using words that sell are key in eliciting a response from my readers; this is what makes them buy.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? I prefer to write using a computer, but will often outline my work on paper first. Having spent so many years in the technology business, I feel naked without my computer close at hand!
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? I relax by reading, practicing my photography, and getting exercise (I love to walk outdoors). I also relax by taking road trips with my husband. Our time together in the car is a great way to untangle from technology and brainstorm on other projects and ideas.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? I think social media websites are a necessary evil for authors. They can be effective, but require discipline and a well-defined strategy to be lucrative. I manage a detailed Social Media strategy, down to daily posts, and I limit my time on social media networks to one hour a day. Spending any more time on social media networks interferes with my ability to manage other equally critical activities for my writing business.
How do you feel about self-publishing? The publishing industry has changed dramatically over the last ten years, and I think self-publishing is a great way for unknown authors to get published. However, to be successful as a self-published author, one needs to make an investment in learning the business side of writing and use marketing as a key tool for success.
Do you find the time to read? I make time to read. I believe the best writers are also avid readers, and I want to be the best. So, I make time to read every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Do you have any advice for writers? Don’t ignore the business side of writing; don’t ignore marketing. Make time to read. Write every day. Make an investment in your craft by attending workshops, seminars, retreats, and courses. Don’t forget to pay for wisdom and insight. Finally, find the courage to hit the “send” button; you have to submit to be published.